How award-winning businesses achieve outstanding growth

Want to achieve and sustain business growth? Here, three brands share the scale-up strategies that impressed the judges at the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards, where they were announced State Winners in the Outstanding Growth category.
· 14 March 2022 · 6 minute read

James and Kirsty Chapman-Smith, owners of Discount Party Supplies.

Australian businesses recognised for their outstanding growth

Growing a business is no small feat, something that SignManager, Complete Home, and Discount Party Supplies can all attest to. Growth has been a challenge for these three businesses, but their hard work has paid off. Each brand has thrived in recent uncertain times, successes that contributed to their being crowned as State Winners in the Outstanding Growth category of the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards.

The Telstra Best of Business Awards is a program created to reward and celebrate the inspirational and exceptional businesses moving Australia forward. In 2022, judges selected State Winners from over 24,000 nominees (including 239 Finalists), across 8 categories.

SignManager, Complete Home Filtration and Discount Party Supplies say the key to their success is a balancing act between supporting their staff and communities, and sourcing locally wherever possible. Their efforts have helped to create jobs and contribute to a stronger Australian economy.

Here, they explain how their businesses flourished.


SignManager, NSW

Image: Alan Hadley and Dan McHugh, directors of SignManager.


For over 20 years, SignManager have helped big businesses like Aldi, Woolworths and John Deere manage their branding across multiple locations. For co-founder and director Alan Hadley, working with signage is like running a mini construction project.

“We try to really understand where our client’s business is going. We foster a culture of innovation by understanding our client’s needs, and then we develop services to fit in with them,” Alan says.

It’s the team’s customer focused approach that continues to impress SignManager clients, helping to boost the company’s growth. Two of their current accounts have stayed with the company since its launch in 2000. By pointing out the value of locally made signs to clients (which last longer in the Australian climate), it’s a success they share with their national network of local suppliers in the thousands.  

Business goals and achievements

  • Expanded their offices into Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, New Zealand and the United States within a 10-year period.
  • Manage signage for more than 100 brands across 60,000 sites and 250,000 signage assets.
  • Built an impressive network with thousands of sign contractors across Australia.

SignManager’s 24 full-time staff work hard, managing complex large scale signage projects. The business’s leadership team are passionate advocates for each employee’s work–life balance and active community involvement. Alan says it’s the foundation of SignManager’s team culture and social impact.

“We like to give our employees two days paid-leave a year so they can participate in community or charity projects of their choice. We find that the level of wellbeing they get from being personally involved is far higher than if we were to just a write a cheque and send that off – as valuable as that is,” he says.

SignManager’s progressive values and commitment to staff wellbeing rewards them with consistent growth and longstanding client relationships.


To be successful in any business, you have to look after yourself and your health first and, in equal parts, your staff, your clients and your suppliers

- Alan Hadley, Director of SignManager


Complete Home Filtration, WA

Image: Suzanne Dodds, founder and managing director of Complete Home Filtration


Complete Home Filtration has a clear vision: for everyone to enjoy cleaner water from every tap in their home. The company designs, manufactures and installs water filtration solutions. It sounds simple, but what they’re doing is innovative and category defining.

The Australian-designed and protected system the business has developed filters or ‘softens’ the water entering a building using a process that removes calcium and magnesium salts. They’re also in the process of patenting a world-first system that removes all traces of PFAS chemicals, after receiving a $292,000 government grant.

Business goals and achievements

  • Achieved 300% year-on-year growth and over $2 million month-to-month revenue, since opening their doors in 2019.
  • Have offices in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and will expand into the United States in 2022.
  • Are in the process of developing a patented PFAS filter system.

According to founder and managing director Suzanne Dodds, the keys to their success are innovation, ambitious goals, and a close-knit dynamic between their 40–plus staff. She also emphasises the value of a collaborative work environment and team culture. “I like to think it’s a real ‘flat hierarchy’ here,” Suzanne says.

While the business is currently working with a small batch model, they’re quickly moving towards commercialising their new PFAS product. This step will move their business into a new growth stage of large-scale manufacturing. The plan will create more jobs, greater revenue for the economy, and better water filtration systems for Australian homes.


We’ve accelerated our growth by focusing on systems, setting very ambitious goals and, no matter what anyone says, just trying to achieve them.

- Suzanne Dodds, Founder and Managing Director of Complete Home Filtration


Discount Party Supplies, SA

Image: Kirsty and James Chapman-Smith, owners of Discount Party Supplies


In 2009, Kirsty Chapman-Smith launched Discount Party Supplies from her family home. What started as a mission to make a modest income selling party decorations quickly grew into a thriving business. Kirsty attributes her brand’s sustained growth to maintaining a strong sense of community, upholding solid business values, and delivering on their customer promises.

Kirsty and her husband and co-owner James are passionate about supporting local businesses. Each year, they spend an average of $5 million across 30 Australian businesses, including their suppliers, graphic design and IT support, web development and accounting services.

Kirsty and James also started the ‘Adelaide Online Retailers’ meetup group to share knowledge, failures, and success stories. “The group creates a space for sharing and collaboration that allows other businesses to grow and prosper,” Kirsty says.

Business goals and achievements

  • Projected to turn over more than $30 million in the next five years.
  • Sell over 12,000 unique party items and caters to over 100 themes.
  • Aim to grow their 50-person team to 80 to keep up with demand.

The team culture at Discount Party Supplies is Kirsty’s proudest business achievement. She was particularly touched by the staff response to COVID-19 restrictions. When the business faced budget and staffing cuts, core employees offered to take on reduced hours or pay, so the business could keep all staff onboard.

In more recent times, Discount Party Supplies has experienced another surge of growth. “Our team’s commitment to the business and to each other, and how I have helped shape that, is one of my proudest achievements,” she says.


Our purpose is to deliver boxes full of happiness for all of life’s celebrations. The processes we’ve built our business on ensures that we deliver on what we promise.

- Kirsty Chapman-Smith, founder and CEO of Discount Party Supplies


The 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards, Outstanding Growth state winners


To learn more about the Awards, visit Telstra Best of Business Awards.


This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra or its staff.

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